Dynastic Rule, Murdabad!

My greatest worry is that if the Congress wins in the upcoming elections, Rahul Gandhi will be ‘chosen’ as the next PM…What are his merits? The only merit I can think of is his Nehru-Gandhi lineage…How will a guy with no experience of governance manage a country of more than a billion people and a zillion problems? This gives rise to the question: Why do Indians vote for dynasties and why haven’t we forgotten the concept of monarchy even after 60 years of independence and democracy?

The Congress is not the only party guilty of dynastic politics – most parties in existence today are family run and the heir is appointed by the leader (father or mother)…We have the Karunanidhis in Tamil Nadu, Patnaiks in Orissa, Thackareys in Maharashtra, Yadavs in Bihar, Chautalas in Haryana and Abdullahs in J&K…BJP, which defines itself as a democratic party, is also guilty of trying ‘family politics’ to get votes…They have fielded former PM Vajpayee’s niece Karuna Shukla, the sons of Jaswant Singh and Vasundhara Raje and various other wives and daughters-in-law…

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that in India, inheritance is viewed as a birthright…Look at our indigenous businesses and Bollywood…Children of successful businessmen and film stars grow up with the notion that their place is sealed in their parents’ industry even if they have no talent…Just because their parents made it, they too will…It is their right to succeed…Politics is also looked upon as a business which requires minimal investment and has high returns…Often children get into it to protect the wealth their fathers or mothers have accumulated (often illicitly) during their tenures…

Even though a successful politician appoints his or her son or daughter as the heir apparent, why do the citizens vote for him or her? People vote for dynasties because in India personalities matter and therefore the family name is crucial…Also, political dynasties provide continuity and recognizable names and faces for the uneducated to support…

Dynasties are good for the families involved but are they good for the country? This system is so pervasive in India that it stifles and saps the creativity and energy of those on the “outside”…Only meritocracy can ensure progress in society…


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